When someone mentions Dubai, what images come to your mind? For me, it’s the Burj Khalifa, skyscrapers, sprawling deserts, Palm Jumeirah and gold souks…….just to name a few.
But there’s more to Dubai than just futuristic architecture, lavish malls and all things hi-tech. Tucked away is the Al Fahidi District located in the area known as Bur Dubai.
This charming area along the banks of the Dubai Creek gives a lovely glimpse into Dubai’s past; with its restored historic buildings, narrow lanes and traditional wind towers. While navigating the maze-like lanes one can’t help but step back and feel immersed into Emirati heritage.
The district also has a touch of the present with its quaint cafes, museums and shops.
If shopping takes your fancy, then catch an abra, a traditional wooden boat, across the creek to Diera. Here you will fine endless souks/bazaars selling spices & gold and everything in between.
It’s a place for a sensory overload; the scent of burning wood chips (bakhour, a traditional Arabic incense) and oud, the sounds of the cars and hustle bustle of pedestrians and the visual overload with old buildings and vibrant shops.
You can easily spend hours moving from one souk to another, absorbing the atmosphere while happily spending your dirhams.
If you plan a trip to Dubai, besides the downtown area, do set aside time for Deira and Bur Dubai. Both areas offer a blend of traditional and modern elements, providing a glimpse into Dubai’s rich history and its rapid contemporary development.
Photos by the author